Blackjack is a very popular card game in casinos around the world, and is one of the casino games where skill actually have an impact on your long-term results. At the blackjack tables, players make decisions during a round of blackjack that will have an impact on the result. It is not one of those games where you simply make your wager and the rest is up to Lady Luck.
Below, you will find some basic information about blackjack. It’s just intended to get your started – if you want to become a serious blackjack player there is much more to learn, e.g. about splitting, doubling, the rules governing the dealer’s hand, insurance, en partage, surrender, etc. There are also many different types of blackjack to explore, e.g. Atlantic City Blackjack and Las Vegas Blackjack.
When you play real- or online blackjack, your starting hand will consist of two cards, dealt face up on the table. It is then up to your to decide if these two cards are enough, or if you want another card from the deck.
To win at blackjack, your hand needs to be closer to 21 points than what the dealer’s hand is. So, if the dealer hand is 17 points and you hand is 18 points, you win. If your hand is 20 points and the dealer’s hand is 21 points, you lose.
The most powerful hand of all in blackjack is the Blackjack. (Yes, it has the same name as the game.) A Blackjack consist of an ace + any card worth ten points. A Blackjack is strong enough to beat even a hand worth 21 points.
Example: Your hand is ace + queen. The queen is a ten point card, so you have a blackjack. The dealer’s hand is queen + a five + a six = 21 points. Your hand wins, because a Blackjack outranks a normal 21 point hand.
Card value in blackjack
Blackjack is played with one or several decks of the standard type; the one with 12 hearts, 12 spades, 12 diamonds and 12 clubs. No jokers are included and no cards are wild in standard blackjack.
Before you start playing blackjack, it is essential to learn the point system for the cards. Each card in the span 2 – 10 is worth its numerical value. A five is worth 5 points, a seven is worth 7 points, and so on. Jack, Queen and King is worth 10 points each. The ace is the most interesting card in blackjack; it is worth 1 point or 11 points, depending on what’s best for the hand. The point value of an ace can shift as more cards are added to a hand.
- Ace 1 point or 11 points, depending on what’s best for the hand.
- King 10 points
- Queen 10 points
- Jack 10 points
- 10 10 points
- 9 9 points
- 8 8 points
- 7 7 points
- 6 6 points
- 5 5 points
- 4 4 points
- 3 3 points
- 2 2 points
What can I win?
If your hand beats the dealer’s hand, you get paid 1:1 on your wager. An exception to this is when you win with a Blackjack hand (ace + ten point card). Such a win is paid 3:2 at most blackjack tables. The payment for regular wins and blackjack wins are often printed on the cloth that covers the blackjack table.
Example #1: Your hand is queen + eight = 18 points. Your wager is $100. The dealer’s hand is king + seven = 17 points. You win, so the dealer will place $100 next to the $100 that you wagered. You now have $200 in front of you that is yours.
Example #2: Your hand is queen + ace = Blackjack. Your wager is $100. The dealer’s hand is king + seven = 17 points. You win, so the dealer will place a $150 next to the $100 that you wagered. You now have $250 in front of you that is yours.
If you and the deal end up with hands of equal value, it’s a tie and you get to keep your wager.
N.B! At some blackjack tables, the player lose their wager when there is a tie or when there is a tie below 20 points. This is a very bad thing for the player and there is really no reason to play blackjack at tables that have such rules. Such blackjack tables are more common in nightclubs and similar than in real casinos.